By Dominic Toner
Charlie Nicholas has picked Everton midfielder Gerard Deulofeu in his Premier League Fantasy Football XI.
The Sky Sports pundit has named the Toffees midfielder as part of a four-man midfield alongside Arsenal duo Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka, as well as West Brom winger Matt Phillips.
The Spaniard is available at a relatively cheap price of £8.1million on the game with Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne the most expensive midfield option at £11.8million.
Nicholas explained to the Sky Sports website why he picked the Everton winger as one of his players, despite the option to pick any star-studded player in the league.
“This lad excited us and then got dropped quite quickly by Roberto Martinez, but I think Ronald Koeman will love him,” Nicholas said. “If Koeman wants to make Everton a real attacking force then Deulofeu should be central to his plans.”
Manager Ronald Koeman has opted to deploy the 22-year-old as an attacker in the pre-season and the Everton fans were delighted on Twitter after he grabbed a goal and an assist in a friendly win over MK Dons last month.
The former Barcelona man will be hoping to achieve a breakthrough season at Goodison park this season after making 62 appearances at the Merseyside club already, scoring eight goals and supplying 18 assists.
Deulofeu joined Everton from Barcelona in 2015 after a successful 12-month loan spell at the club two seasons before.
The Spaniard made 29 appearances and scored four goals during his first stay, which promoted a permanent transfer of £4.2million for the player.
Deulofeu is contracted at the Merseyside club until 2018 and is expected to feature heavily under new manager Ronald Koeman.
Nicholas’ Fantasy Football XI: Petr Cech, Christian Fuchs, Virgil van Dijk, Lamine Kone, Matt Phillips, Mesut Ozil, Gerard Deulofeu, Granit Xhaka, Sergio Aguero, Wayne Rooney, Benik Afobe
In other Everton team news, Didi Hamann has made a bold claim about where the club can finish next season.